10th March 2013
Following a day of rain yesterday, I needed to go to Whitlingham and complete the months WeBS counts. It was snowing when I left, and the river level was very high as I walked along the riverside path. Reaching Trowse I could see that over half of the meadow along Whitlingham Lane was under water, as a result of the river had burst its banks.
At the CP there were even fewer ducks than before, with no Pochard, Gadwall or Teal at all. It was marginally better looking across to Thorpe, where a few Pochard and Gadwall were still present, along with a Little Grebe. A Kingfisher, three Lesser Redpolls and a small group of Siskin completed the bird sightings. Ditch clearance is still going on along part of the path, so I diverted along the woodland path for a stretch. Here I found some large stalked puffballs which I think are old examples of Pestle Puffball (Handkea excipuliformis), and one of the Broads Authority staff came over for a chat. He told me that he had found some Scarlet Elf Cups on site and kindly gave me directions to have a look. There are two very similar species that require microscopic separation - if anyone has checked whether the Whitlingham ones are S. austriaca or S. coccinea then I would be interested to hear from you.
Scarlet Elf Cups